Assessment of the Reform in Places of Detention in Bulgaria: Law and practice after the pilot European Court of Human Rights judgment Neshkov and Others

Project facts

Project promoter:
Bulgarian Helsinki Committee(BG)
Project Number:
In implementation
Initial project cost:

More information


In 2015 the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) delivered a landmark judgment on Neshkov and others v.  Bulgaria, establishing violation of the prohibition of inhuman and humiliating treatment in Bulgarian prisons. The ECtHR noted that the overall prison system in Bulgaria was plagued with structural issues and gave the Bulgarian state a period of 18 months to take measures to solve the issues. Despite the reform launched in 2017, a number of key issues persist. The project aims at improving the application of international standards on human rights in the prison system in Bulgaria. The project will carry out a multifaceted assessment of the real impact of the practical and legislative measures adopted by the government since 2017, identify the gaps in the reform of the prison system and outline intervention areas in order to implement the general measures of the Court. The project will offer durable strategic solutions to fully implement the judgments of the ECtHR regarding the Bulgarian prison system. The monitoring carried out will record and disclose violations of human rights in prisons. Advocacy before Bulgarian authorities and international bodies will help boost the reform of prisons. Strategic litigation on behalf of the victims of violations will challenge structural problems. The project will empower the target groups through pilot training sessions of inmates in prisons and will activate their potential for self-advocacy. Lawyers will be also trained in this area. The project is targeted at people serving custodial sentences and detained under custody. The project will also work with the stakeholders, i.e. Bulgarian public authorities involved in the prison reform, international bodies monitoring compliance with standards in this area and detainees themselves as participants in the training sessions.

Information on the projects funded by the EEA and Norway Grants is provided by the Programme and Fund Operators in the Beneficiary States, who are responsible for the completeness and accuracy of this information.